Earlier this Apple released the latest version of their AppleTV product. I found the improvements to the service intriguing, but I wasn’t about the pay more than $200 for the product. I already have an iPod and frankly I can’t stand Apple products. A few days after this announcement I received an email from a small company called Tekkeon. They have an interesting product called a NavDoc, for less than $140 you can turn your iPod into a nifty AppleTV clone. NavDock includes a 16-button dockable remote with a five-way navigation pad and quick keys that jump directly to the videos, photos, music or settings menus to lets users adjust or mute volume, shuffle, repeat or skip songs, and fast forward or rewind through music or videos. What sets this product apart from other TV Docs that I’ve tried is it includes an onscreen menu, so you don’t have to keep getting up to manually change your iPod. The onscreen navigation works fairly well, although it does take a few minutes to figure out how to get in and out of your Podcasts. The menu is pretty and the fonts are nice and big. I wish it would scale the picture so that video podcast would crisper and cleaner. For instance when I watch video Podcasts on my Tivo box, they generally look really good. That’s because they are made specifically for that format. The same with AppleTV, video is made specifically for the larger format.
The Navdoc also supports all iPod media. So you can use it to play video, music, and photos on your slide show. The remote is very straight forward and full featured, but fast forwarding and rewinding still leaves a lot to desired and doesn’t always work properly. Sometimes it’ll skip to the end or beginning of your media, but rarely lets you manually skip around. At times it’s a little frustrating. Connecting the doc to your television is simple, just plug the composite cables into your tv, doc your iPod and you are ready to go. The unit itself is a little big, but it is lightweight making it something that I would consider taking with me on my next trip. It could use some improvements and tweaks, but the system does achieve it’s limited goals well. I love watching video Podcasts, and this is a great way to do it on your TV.
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By Michelle Alexandria
Originally posted 4/6/08